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The Liberty of Norton Folgate (Bonus Track Version)

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Reseña de álbum

Madness never disappeared but they faded away, spending years playing summer festivals and other oldies venues befitting an act specializing in nostalgia — an impression that 2005's covers album, The Dangerman Sessions, did nothing to assuage. All this makes The Liberty of Norton Folgate, the band's first album of original material in ten years, and their first in more than a quarter-century, feel fully realized, even surprising. The element of surprise is not in the music, which is firmly within the 2-Tone tradition they laid down in the early '80s — and indeed, is produced by their longtime collaborators Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley — but rather that they've found a way to deepen their nutty sound, to offer nothing less than a mature, middle-aged spin on Presents the Rise & Fall. Like that 1982 new wave classic, The Liberty of Norton Folgate is about London and steeped in classic British pop, using the Kinks as ground zero for a series of wry, keenly observed pop songs about the people and places in London Town. Madness never try to update their sound — they never dabble in electronica or ragga — instead they dig deeper, finding new musical wrinkles within tightly written three-minute pop tunes and stretching out on the astonishing title street that concludes the record. While Madness may be trading on the sound that brought them to the top of the charts, it never sounds like a vain, desperate stab at reviving their youth; they play and write as the middle-aged men they are, finding sustenance within the music of their youth, then adapting it to their lives now, finding as much mirth as melancholy in what they see. Also befitting a middle-aged Madness, The Liberty is an album of craft — so much so that the album has no such stand-out hit single as "Our House," but then again, those were different times — but the true testament to the value of that craft is that The Liberty of Norton Folgate is as rich and rewarding in its deluxe double-disc incarnation as it is in its simpler, single-disc set, something that speaks volumes to the extent of the band's unexpected revitalization here.

Reseñas de usuarios

There back!!

Finally they release this Cd!! Madness has evolved since our house in the 80's and they still have it. Dust Devil is my favorite track but theres not a bad track on this!! now can Itunes get it together and release some of there greatest hits like Baggy Trousers?

A Madness essential!

I don't know what I expected from "The Liberty of Norton Folgate", but in it I found a surprising treasure. It's a sure-fire purchase for Madness fans, but it will even appeal to new fans of the "Nutty boys".

The Liberty of Norton Folgate presents a more mature version of Madness, but retains the irresistible hooks and intonations that have made this band a fan-favorite for decades.

One of the best things about the album is that the sense of humor is still present, but the music is full-featured with incredible piano work, impeccable percussion and horns and tasteful guitar. Suggs' spoken-word-singing is very strong on "Norton Folgate", and the band has never sounded better. This album cries out for a pair of quality headphones!

Standouts include:
"We are London" is a monster cut on the album and it's success as a single is assured. A lyrical trip through that storied town. It features a hooky, bouncing beat that is irresistible. "Live as you please" indeed.

"Rainbows" is a '60's-infused paean to the possibility of the future. Optimism distilled.

"MK 2" rings out as a true Madness enigmatic original. With rich, vivid imagery, the rock solid hook needs nothing else to make this a memorable, albeit brief song.

"On the Town" is my favorite song from this album due to the "Runaway"-inspired opening hook, the incredibly deep lyrics and the surprise guest slot of Two-Tone bandmate Rhoda Dakar. She brings a creepy, soulful and sad touch to this great track. The song concludes with only the drum machine and I'd swear that it was lifted from The Specials. It's brilliant!

The title track relates the story of the real Liberty of Norton Folgate, and it succeeds. A ten-minute whopper with rich textures, the song bobs and weaves through history of this tiny part of London. Not exactly a toe-tapper, it's more of a tableaux and history lesson all-in-one.

That's it, I'm getting a Bowler!


Really great album the encompasses the full range of Madness's styles. Sadly this is missing some of the tracks from the complete double-album which is not yet available online, such as Mission from Hell, and Seven Dials. It does have, however the great tracks NW5, Bingo and, of course, the Liberty of Norton Folgate.


Se formó en: 1978 en Camden, London, England

Género: Pop

Años de actividad: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with the Specials, Madness were one of the leading bands of the ska revival of the late '70s and early '80s. As their career progressed, Madness branched away from their trademark "nutty sound" and incorporated large elements of Motown, soul, and British pop. Although the band managed one crossover American hit in 1983, they remained a British phenomenon, influencing several successive generations of musicians and becoming one of the most beloved groups the country produced during the '80s. The...
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